Holcim’s turnover for the first nine months fell by 18.4% to SFr15,774m (€10,446m), which represents a 10.3% reduction on a like-for-like basis. The operating EBITDA was down by 17.2% to SFr3,614m (€2,393m), which was less of a percentage reduction than a year ago. The trading profit fell by 24.3% to SFr2,337m (€1,548m) while the net attributable profit dropped by 47.3% to SFr1,200m (€795m). Net debt at the end of September was 14.2% lower at SFr12,905m (€8,546m), giving a gearing level of 59.7% compared with 83.7% a year earlier, though it has since risen. Capital investment in the period amounted to SFr1,641m (€1,087m), with maintenance capex dropping by 73.8%. Spending on acquisitions was down by 48.3% to SFr480m (€318m), but did not include the €1,145m was spent on buying Cemex’ interests in Australia, which was only pain on the 1st of October.
The group cement capacity is 4.1Mt higher than a year ago at 198.5Mt. Cement shipments declined by 8.9% to 99.1Mt, which represents an underlying deterioration of 7.3%, allowing for the de-consolidation of Venezuela, Nigeria and some Caribbean businesses. Sales of other binders fell by 32.4% to 2.5Mt. Shipments of aggregates were off by 18.9% to 103.2Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 17.8% to 30.4m m³ and the asphalt volume was down by 21.4% to 8.1Mt.
The European turnover fell by 28.5% to SFr5,664m (€3,751m) while the EBITDA went down by 39.7% to SFr1,035m (€685m). The European results were helped by a Sw.Fr. 61m (€40m) gain on the sale of emission rights because of the reduced cement production. That compares with a Sw.Fr. 7m gain last year. Cement deliveries fell by 20.2% to 20.9Mt.
The Asia Pacific turnover declined by 1.3% to SFr4,538m (€3,005m), but actually increased by 7.6% on an underlying basis, and was up by 5.2% when expressed in euros. The EBITDA advanced by 14.9%, or by 25.7% on a comparable basis, to SFr1,306m (€865m). Cement deliveries increased by 1.6% to 49.9Mt. , Of the 12.5m tonnes of new capacity being commissioned by Holcim next year, 8.1Mt will be in India.
North American turnover fell by 22.1% to SFr2,626m (€1,739m) and the EBITDA by 26.1% to SFr328m (€217m). The profit reduction came mainly in the USA, while in Canada the fall in volume was largely offset by lower costs.